THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION’S SECRETARY GENERAL VISITS NIGERIA, SIGNS HCA
L-R: The DG/CEO NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, the Secretary General, World Meteorological Organization, Prof. Petteri Taalas and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olukunle Akindele Bamgbose during the signing ceremony of the Host Country agreement (HCA) between Nigeria and the World Meteorological Organization on Wednesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, played host to the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, WMO, Prof. Petteri Taalas who was on an official visit to Nigeria to sign the Host Country Agreement, HCA, with the Nigerian Government.
Prof. Taalas who was accompanied by the Director of Regional Services, Ms. Mary Power, said that his visit is part of his organization’s strategic plan to boost its regional presence in order to improve services to members and strengthen relationships with development partners.
The WMO Secretary General observed that NiMet has been doing a great job in supporting several of its neighbouring countries and acknowledged that Nigeria is having one of the leading meteorological services in the whole of Africa.
As part of the visit, Prof. Taalas paid a courtesy call on the Minister for State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika. In his welcome remarks, Sen. Sirika said the Government is aware of the critical role NiMet is playing not just in Aviation but across all sectors of the economy, hence a bill to increase NiMet’s funding has been initiated in the national assembly and is expected to be passed.
The high point of the Secretary General’s visit was the signing of the HCA, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and witnessed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Olukunle Akindele Bambgose, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godwin Oyeama.
Earlier in his introductory remarks before the signing ceremony, the Director General/CEO of NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi reiterated that hosting of the regional office is something worth celebrating because of the enormous benefits that could be derived. This he said “include controlling the communication from WMO to Africa. Secondly, since Nigeria is hosting the sub regional office, it means NiMet should be first to gain from any benefit from WMO. Thirdly, besides giving Nigeria a leadership role, the country will derive more through diplomacy.”
Prof. Mashi used the opportunity to intimate the Secretary General of his agency’s ambitious project to acquire 1000 weather stations within the next four years.
Nigeria, as one of the nine clusters of WMO sub regional offices in the world, has been hosting the 198 member United Nation’s global body responsible for Climate, Weather and Hydrology since 1996. The signing of the HCA makes it formal in accordance with the WMO Convention.